Covid-19 pandemic report card: Did Singapore pass?

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The review of the Government's response to the pandemic is ongoing. Insight takes its own look at how well Singapore fared in saving lives and livelihoods.

How well did Singapore fare in saving lives and livelihoods during the Covid-19 pandemic?

At some points, Singapore was held up around the world as the gold standard in its handling of the pandemic. At other points, the bouquets turned to brickbats as some commentators cited the country as a cautionary tale about how best-laid plans can be scuttled by the coronavirus.

Such ups and downs could be chalked up to a virus that often did not act as expected, but sprang surprises along the way.

What Singapore got right, said experts, were the strict quarantine and isolation protocols, swift vaccination roll-out and the ability to maintain a largely uninterrupted supply of essential goods.

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Fighting an unknown virus in the early days

For most of the last two years, Covid-19 was a smouldering fire that Singapore struggled to put out.

To prevent stray embers - that is, unlinked cases - from reigniting the blaze, infected people were taken to designated recovery facilities and their contacts ordered to stay home and test themselves regularly.

Mask-wearing was initially recommended only for people who were already ill, but later became compulsory in April 2020.

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Living with the virus

When Singapore changed its approach to Covid-19 in the second half of last year from stemming all transmiss...

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